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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s response to a media question about Poland’s accusations against Russia concerning the Polish President’s plane crash near Smolensk

Question: Could you comment on today’s statement by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Poland about charging Russian dispatchers of taking deliberate actions that led to the Polish President’s plane crash on April 10, 2010?

Zakharova: During a special news conference held on April 3 regarding the investigation of the Polish President’s plane crash on April 10, 2010, representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Poland announced that the Russian dispatchers who serviced that fateful flight at the Smolensk-Severny airfield were being charged with allegedly taking deliberate actions that led to the disaster.

In fact, this did not come as a surprise to us. It is just a hardening of the Polish government’s position, which initially tried to at least partially lay responsibility for the tragedy on Russian specialists, and now they are trying to baselessly ascribe some malicious intent to them, and using the corresponding labels. We have already expressed our view on this issue – both through Russian law enforcement agencies and the Foreign Ministry.  We are mindful of the fact that the true causes of the plane crash near Smolensk were determined and recorded in the report of the Interstate Aviation Committee of January 12, 2011 following a thorough investigation. The investigation showed that the Russian dispatchers had nothing to do with the incident, and Warsaw knows this very well. In spite of the transparency of the situation, the Polish authorities continue to use the tragedy to settle political scores in the country. At the same time, taxpayer money goes to support the meaningless activity of new pseudo-investigatory mechanisms, the results of which are not visible or go against common sense. We do not think this tactic will achieve anything other than damaging Russian-Polish relations, which are already not in the best shape.